The TEACH Act
The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH
Act) passed Congress on October 3, 2002 as part of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act and was signed into law
November 2nd. This act revises section 110(2) of the Copyright
Act of 1976 which placed severe restrictions on what copyrighted
materials could be used in distance education, i. e. online courses.
Laura N. Gasaway has created an excellent chart detailing the difference between the original and amended sections of 110(2).
The new law considerably broadens the types of materials which
can be used, but has very strict requirements that must be met.
More responsibility is placed at the institutional level including
policy making, dissemination of copyright information, and providing
technological restrictions. Responsibility for the choice and
use of the material remains that of the instructor.
Duties of the institution:
- The institution must be an accredited nonprofit educational
institution. For-profit subsidiaries do not qualify.
- The institution must institute policies regarding copyright
- The institution must provide materials that "accurately
describe and promote compliance with, the laws of the United
States relating to copyright" to faculty, students, and
- The institution must provide "notice to students that
materials used in connection with the course may be subject
to copyright protection."
- The institution must limit access to enrolled students.
Duties of the Information Technology official:
- The IT official must ensure that transmission must be limited
to enrolled students.
- The IT official must place technological controls on storage
and dissemination that prevent "retention of the work in
accessible form ...for longer than the class session. and to
prevent students from further disseminating the work.
- The IT official must not allow technological measures that
were on the original material to be bypassed.
- The IT official must make certain that the material is not
maintained "on the system or network" longer that
the period needed to make the transmission.
- The IT official may retain copies of the digital transmissions
so long as no further copies may be made.
Duties of instructors:
- Instructors are permitted to use nondramatic literary or musical
works, reasonable and limited portions of dramatic works, displays
of any work.
- Instructors may not use works that are produced "as part
of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital
networks" or copies that are not legally made.
- Instructors must participate in the planning and teaching
of the online course
- Instructors must only use materials as an integral part of
the classroom experience.
- Instructors may not use textbooks or other materials typically
bought by students.
- Instructors may convert analog materials to digital, but only
if a digital equivalent is not readily available.
I encourage you to read "New
Copyright Law for Distance Education: The Meaning and Importance
of the TEACH Act" by Kenneth Crews.
Added 7 November 2002
The information on this site is intended to
inform the faculty, staff and
students at the College of DuPage about copyright and to provide
for using and creating copyrighted material. The information should
be considered legal advice.
For more information contact The Library